Ulmus americana L.

Locations ofUlmus americana L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Ulmus americana L.
Common Name
American Elm
Ulmus americana L. var. americana
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Ulmus americana L.
Although still abundantly represented by saplings and medium-sized trees, populations of this species have been decimated by the Dutch Elm Disease fungi (Ophiostoma ulmi (Buisman) Melin & Nannfeldt and O. novo-ulmi Brasier) during the past 40 years, and mature overstory trees are now lacking at most sites, especially in northern Virginia. Flora of the Southeastern U.S. recognizes var. americana (representing our plants) and var. floridana (Chapm.) Little from calcareous sites in the southeastern Coastal Plain; the latter differs from the typical var. in leaf morphology. However, because further changes in the circumscription of this species appear to be on the horizon, based on the work of Whittemore and Olson (2011, Amer. J. Bot. 98: 754-760) and Whittemore et al. (2021, Syst. Bot. 46: 711-727) demonstrating two entities strongly differentiated by ploidy level, we are not formally recognizing varieties at this time.
Various wetland habitats, including floodplain forests, tidal and nontidal swamps, and upland depressions; also in mesic upland forests, old fields, and fencerows. Frequent to common throughout; in the mountains, it is limited to low elevations.
Native Status

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